Canine Unit (K9)

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office originally started its K9 Unit in 2011 with one handler and one dog for narcotic detection. In 2012, the Sheriff’s Office had added an additional K9 team for explosive detection. The mission of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit is to provide the citizens of Isle of Wight County with trained canines to support the Patrol and Investigative Divisions via the application of canines trained in locating illicit narcotics and detect explosives and guns, in order to enhance officer safety and assist in evidence collection.

Each K9 team operates on a countywide basis and is used predominately for narcotic and explosive detection. Both K9 handlers have a combined 4 years of handling experience and are veterans
of the Sheriff’s Office with more than 10 years experience in Law Enforcement.


Members of Isle of Wight County Sheriff's Office Canine Unit (K9) Division

K-9 Handler Deputy Clifton Griffin

K-9 Handler Deputy Joseph Hopko IV
K-9  EKO

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office K9 teams provide a psychological and physical deterrent to potential threats from explosives and narcotics. All the costs of the patrol K9 teams (except for officer salaries) are provided by community donations and criminal seizures. Each team is comprised of a dog (Belgian Malinois) and a handler. Each dog must be trained and certified/recertified in all trained skill sets on an annual basis and attend monthly in-service training sessions. The K9 Unit provides coverage for patrol use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and also provides 24- hour on-call coverage for Explosives Detection for all mutual aid requests for all local law enforcement agencies.